During the first two years of NC State head coach Tom O’Brien’s tenure, the strategy for offering quarterbacks has hinged on the opportunity to evaluate each signal-caller at camp. This worked out well in 2007 when the Pack landed standout Mike Glennon over offers from Virginia Tech, Florida State, Michigan State and others. This year, the Wolfpack’s choice doesn’t appear to be as clear-cut so Pack Pride breaks down the competitors with commentary on each of the main players.
Morgan Newton...6-5, 215 pounds...Mt Carmel (IN) High School...Newton is the only QB that has reportedly been offered without attending NC State’s camp. He did make an unofficial visit to Raleigh several weeks ago but the reality appears to be that State in not a major player for his commitment.
Everett Proctor...6-2, 200 pounds...Jack Britt High School (Fayetteville, NC)...NC State was the first school to offer Proctor and did so originally as an athlete. He ran in the 4.6-second range at NC State’s camp and presents as a solid athlete but may be more suited for wide receiver than defensive back. At quarterback, Proctor has above average athleticism and the ability to make plays with his feet. His ball placement was good, particularly on crossing patterns. Proctor struggled somewhat on the deeper outs and doesn’t have a cannon of an arm. He does boast some upside as he is still coming into his own at the QB position. On the recruiting side, the reality is State will likely see their odds diminish should they continue to pursue as an athlete.
Michael Box...6-3, 190 pounds...Collins Hill High School (Suwanee, GA)...Box has a nice frame and brings the added element of athleticism and ability to run to the position. He would probably be best described as a dual-threat QB. Box proved to be fairly accurate during quarterback drills and threw catchable balls. On the deeper outs, his passes tended to hang so arm strength will need to improve. The thing that stands out with Box is his desire to compete. He has yet to earn any major division one offers although he has performed well at a couple of camps.
Donnie McElveen...6-2, 190 pounds...Summerville (SC) High School...McElveen was actually one of the better performers at NC State’s football camp. He doesn’t boast the prototypical 6-4 height that a lot of schools target. However, he was one of the more polished QB’s at camp, threw tight spirals consistently and was accurate on short and mid-range throws. Like many of the QB’s in attendance, didn’t have a monster arm and struggled on deeper throws. McElveen has landed offers from East Carolina and Central Florida thus far and a player State is likely watching closely.
Colton Chapple...6-2, 190 pounds...Atlanta Christian School (Norcross, GA)...Chapple was somewhat similar to Box in that he appeared to be comfortable throwing while on the move. He doesn’t have the biggest frame but has decent mobility. He was comparable to many of the other QB’s in attendance with his accuracy, catchability and ball placement on short and intermediate throws. However, arm strength is likely to be a concern.
Brett Mooring...6-4, 220 pounds...West Craven High School (Vanceboro, NC)...Mooring was easily the biggest QB in attendance at NC State’s camp and is fairly mobile given his size. We wouldn’t consider footwork to be a detriment for Mooring given his size. Mooring had the strongest arm of anyone at camp. He was one of the few QB’s who appeared to be able to deliver the ball consistently on the deeper outs. Mooring tended to put too much velocity on his shorter passes which made it difficult for the receivers to haul in his passes. However, any shortcomings that Mooring had were correctable with coaching. He may be one of the leaders in the chase for an NC State offer.
John Ryan...6-2, 200 pounds...Penn Charter School (Philadelphia, Pa)...Ryan was another QB with a solid frame and decent mobility. His skill set appeared to be right in line with many of the other quarterbacks in attendance. Ryan made several nice throws with good touch on the ball. Doesn’t have a cannon but is accurate. He has good bloodlines as he is the brother of former Boston College QB Matt Ryan. Obviously that gives him a very strong connection to NC State.
Aaron Mershman...6-3, 200 pounds...Bowling Green (OH) High School...Physically, Mershman was probably the most impressive prospect in attendance. He spends quite a bit of time in the weight room and it shows. Mershman doesn’t boast tremendous speed but it’s adequate and his foot quickness was solid. He was particularly strong throwing on the move outside the pocket. Mershman threw very catchable balls and his placement was as good as anyone at camp. He doesn’t have a cannon but his arm strength was probably second only to Mooring. Beyond arm strength, Mershman was probably the best looking QB in attendance. He currently boasts six offers but has indicated he may jump on an NC State offer should the Wolfpack offer.
While there is no rule written in stone that State has to offer a QB from camp, it would appear likely that they will. While every quarterback in attendance brought something to the table, we believe Brett Mooring, Aaron Mershman and Everett Proctor to be three of the strongest candidates. The NC State coaching staff has indicated that a decision on an offer could be made in the very near future. Stay tuned with Pack Pride for the latest.